Mets 26-man roster prediction 2.0 for 2023 MLB season
Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie, Fla. as the team prepares for a 2023 season that brings with it huge expectations that the players are not shying away from.
The offseason was historic when it came to spending to bolster the team. Because of that, the roster is largely set. But there will still be a number of position and roster battles to watch, especially as it pertains to youngsters Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez.
There are also questions in the bullpen, which has a bunch of locks but a handful of spots up for grabs -- and plenty of high-upside arms vying for them.
On the bench, there should be some intrigue, especially if the Mets swing a trade between now and Opening Day.
Here is our roster prediction 2.0...
Omar Narvaez, C
Pete Alonso, 1B
Jeff McNeil, 2B
Francisco Lindor, SS
Brett Baty/Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Mark Canha, LF
Brandon Nimmo, CF
Starling Marte, RF
Daniel Vogelbach/Tommy Pham, DH
The first iteration of our Mets roster prediction, which we published back in the middle of January, had Alvarez on it in a hybrid catching/DH role.
Nothing has happened since then to take the shine off Alvarez (who reported early and has been at spring training for well over a week) or his immense potential. However, my feeling at this point is that he has an uphill climb if he wants to make the Opening Day squad.
Many of the Mets' position players have been at spring training for a while, including Narvaez -- who has unsurprisingly been the one catching bullpen sessions from the big guys like Justin Verlander -- and has also been tutoring Alvarez while helping him refine his defense.
There is of course a chance Alvarez makes the roster, especially if he tears the cover off the ball in spring training games, but there are impediments that exist with his inclusion that don't exist for Baty.
So what about Baty?
Like Alvarez, he arrived to spring training very early. Unlike Alvarez, who would be faced with the task of succeeding offensively in the majors as a 21-year-old while continuing to hone his defense and helping to manage a pitching staff, all Baty has to do is hit and play a capable third base -- which he is already able to do.
There's an easy case to be made that Baty should not only make the team but get the bulk of the starts at third, which is why we have him on the roster.
Max Scherzer, RHP
Justin Verlander, RHP
Kodai Senga, RHP
Jose Quintana, LHP
Carlos Carrasco, RHP
During the offseason, there was buzz that the Mets could look to trade Carrasco, who has one year left on his contract. The 35-year-old getting dealt is now unlikely, according to SNY's Andy Martino.
Martino reported a few days ago that once the Carlos Correa deal fell through, the Mets' desire to trade Carrasco waned.
The Mets keeping Carrasco makes far more sense than trading him, since their starting pitching depth is decent but not great. There is no need to remove a potentially solid rotation cog and dip into that depth immediately.
Edwin Diaz, CLS
David Robertson, RHP
Adam Ottavino, RHP
Brooks Raley, LHP
Drew Smith, RHP
John Curtiss RHP
Zach Greene, RHP
Joey Lucchesi, LHP
The Mets were one of six teams in attendance for free agent left-hander Zack Britton's showcase recently, and he would obviously make the team if signed.
If the Mets don't sign Britton, they'll still be in strong shape in the 'pen, with five locks (Diaz, Robertson, Ottavino, Raley, and Smith) and one other reliever (Curtiss) who could have an inside track at a spot.
Our first roster prediction had the hard-throwing but still erratic Bryce Montes de Oca nabbing one of the final spots, but we have Greene replacing him here.
Since Greene was a Rule 5 pick, the Mets must carry him on the 26-man roster (unless he is on the IL) for the entire season or offer him back to the Yankees.
The 25-year-old hasn't gotten a taste of the majors yet, but he struck out 13.7 per nine in 2021 and 12.6 per nine in 2022 -- during a season where he had a 3.42 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in Triple-A. So he's definitely worth a look.
New York can also use a second lefty, and that's a spot that can be filled by Peterson, who would also be able to work as a long-man/spot-starter.
If the Mets go with the above bullpen, David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Jose Butto would be their main starting pitching depth in Triple-A.
Tomas Nido, C
Luis Guillorme, INF
Daniel Vogelbach, DH/1B
Tommy Pham, DH/OF
Nido and Guillorme are making the team.
Then there's Vogelbach and Pham, who will likely be alternating between the DH spot and the bench.
Darin Ruf, who remains on the roster, could possibly be in 2023 what he was for most of his career before coming to Queens last summer -- a guy who excels against left-handed pitching.
But with Vogelbach and Pham already on the roster, it's very hard to justify also carrying Ruf, which would give the Mets three guys who have little to no versatility. That means a trade of Ruf should happen before Opening Day.